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Letting market activity picking up momentum

There was a significant improvement in the letting market, the latest figures from Agency Express shows.

The number of new rental property listings ‘to let’ increased by 9.5% in May compared to the previous month, while the volume of properties ‘let’ was up 5.3% during the corresponding period, according to the latest Agency Express Property Activity Index.

Looking back at the board company’s historical data we can see that this year’s figures are down slightly compared to those recorded in 2018, but over a three-month rolling period the figures for new listings are like for like.


Looking at performance across the UK, 11 of the 12 regions recorded by the Property Activity Index reported increases new listings ‘to let’ and 10 reported increases in properties ‘let’.

London and the South West were this month’s top performers. New listing in the capital saw a 21.5% rise and properties ‘let’ are up 10.9%, but year-on-year figures were down.

Figures for new listings in the South West rose to 20.1% and 13.9% for properties ‘let’, but again figures for new listings were down year-on-year.

Wales also reported a robust letting period with figures for properties ‘let’ at 29%; the largest increase in figures for the month since 2015.

Regions to record increases in this month’s index:

Properties ‘to let’

Central England 17.8%

East Anglia 14.7%

West Midlands 11.1%

Yorkshire & Humberside 9.9%

East Midlands 8.2%

Properties ‘let by’

North West 18.6%

Scotland 16.4%

Central England 5.1%

East Midlands 3.9%

West Midlands 3%

Yorkshire & Humberside recorded the largest decline in this month’s index.

Figures for properties ‘let’ in the region dropped by 9.4%, a larger decline in activity compared to 12 months previous. However, over a three-month rolling period figures are more positive at +0.5%.

Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, commented: “May has historically been a slower month for board movements. However, over the last two years we have seen a shift in this trend.

“Year-on-year figures are starting to rise and this month we have seen some overall growth for the UK lettings market.

“As we move in to June which is traditionally a buoyant month market we would expect to see a further increase in pace.”

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